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MoveOn.org Backer Stomped Before Rand Paul-Jack Conway Debate

Oct 26, 2010

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(Updated at 5:23 pm) — There've been developments since earlier in the day in this the story of the Kentucky head stomping at the Rand Paul-Jack Conway debate.

A judge will consider whether criminal charges should be filed against Tim Profitt, the man who stepped on Lauren Valle's head after she was wrestled to the ground.

Profitt says the stomping wasn't really as bad as it looked. In an interview with the Associated Press, he said: "I'm sorry that it came to that, and I apologize if it appeared overly forceful, but I was concerned about Rand's safety."

The Paul campaign has dropped Profitt as its coordinator in Bourbon County and banned him from Paul events.

Valle, 23, says she's still sore.

(Updated at 1:06 pm with MoveOn.org statement)

A lot of buzz on the Web Tuesday about a MoveOn.org supporter, a woman who was wrestled to the ground by some Rand Paul backers and whose head was stepped on by one of the men.

All this occurred before the Monday night debate in Lexington between Paul, the Republican and Tea Party favorite for a U.S. Senate seat from Kentucky, and Jack Conway, his rival and the state's Democratic attorney general.

The woman was there for a piece of political theater, to give Paul an "award" for allegedly being in the pocket of corporations.

According to a news report, the ugly confrontation occurred before Paul and Conway rolled up to the debate venue.

Let's stipulate that there's been thuggish behavior from people on both sides of the political spectrum.

This just happens to be a case where there's video of red on blue violence. Let's also stipulate that we're not seeing the better angels of our nature in such encounters.

Meanwhile, according to a Louisville Courier-Journal report, the actual debate between the candidates was significantly more civil than their meeting last week in which Paul didn't shake hands with Conway. They actually shook hands before the start of Monday's debate.

And they mostly stuck to the issues without talking much about the controversial Conway ad that attacked Paul for belonging to an irreverent club in college 25 years ago and engaging in a weird prank them, too.

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MoveOn.org provided the following statement, attributed to Justin Ruben, it's executive director:

"We're appalled at the violent incident that occurred at the Kentucky Senate debate last night. Numerous news reports clearly show that the young woman—a MoveOn supporter—was assaulted and pushed to the ground by Rand Paul supporters, where one man held her down while another stomped on her head. This kind of violence has no place in American society, much less at a peaceful political rally.

Our first concern is obviously Lauren's health and well being. She is recovering, and we will release more details as we have them. We are concerned that no arrests have yet been made, and we hope those responsible will be brought to justice quickly, and that Rand Paul will join us in condemning this horrible act."

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